The Mardi Gras King Cake

Saturday, February 13, 2010
I think it's appropriate to start this post by saying, BEST THING I HAVE EVER MADE!!!!

And I'm so proud of this baking creation. I worked with yeast. It had TWO rising times. I kneaded dough. I made two fillings. I fold and wrapped the dough. I poured a glaze over it. (Which I have some unexplainable fear of doing. I guess I'm afraid it will spill everywhere and look like crap. Good news, it worked perfect!) I made my own colored sprinkles. And I ate a fourth of this in one sitting. Yepppp. It was darn tootin' good!!!!

These directions look very intimidating and long. (About three printed out pages for me) But it's most little helpful side notes added in at each step to make things go easier. Yeah, I could take all the fluff out but I think it's really helpful. Especially at the dough roll into itself part, you're given hints and tips which I really liked. The dough was surprisingly super easy to work with. I had no issues at all with it! I wasn't sure if my berries thickened well enough, though, but it came out just fine.

Now there are berry fillings and there are nut fillings, but from what I've read from around the web the berry and cream cheese filling is supreme. Although i haven't had the nut filling, I give this one 10 stars! Or 5. Whatever scale you wish to use. This will be something I make every year I've decided. And I might make the dough again but for something else.

Okay, so now it's your turn to try. I've made this easier for you so go ahead and start! Note: There's one 1 hour rising time and one 1/2 hour rising time. You can make your fillings during the first one and take a shower like I did for the second hehe. You can make the glaze during the cooling time. Also, I let it cool for quite a bit before trying, (maybe like 45 minutes?) and the middle was slightly warm when I took a bite. It was DIVINE. Nom nom nom!

Mixed Berry & Cream Cheese King Cake
found from
What We're Eating

For Dough:

2 tbsp butter

8 oz sour cream

5 tbsp sugar, separated into 4 & 1 tbsp

salt - two finger pinch

1 package (7g) active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (between 100 and 110 degrees)

1 egg

3-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

oil - doesn't matter what kind, just for your hands and the bowl

For Filling:

8 oz frozen mixed berries

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 + 1/8 cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt (a pinch)

6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

2 oz sour cream,

1/3 of a beaten egg

1 tbsp lemon zest

For Icing:

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp butter, melted

4 tbsp milk

pinch o' salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start the dough. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter, 4 tbsp sugar, and salt. Stir. Once the butter has melted, add the sour cream and heat to luke warm, about 105 degrees. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup warm water, yeast, and 1 tbsp sugar, then stir. Allow the yeast to sit for about five minutes, until it has been activated. If the yeast does not become active, toss out the mixture and start with a new packet of yeast.

Once the yeast is active, whisk in the warm butter and sour cream mixture, the egg, and 1 cup of flour. Whisk until smooth. Using an oiled wooden spoon, begin mixing in small amounts of flour until you form a soft dough. This will generally take about another 2 cups of flour, just go by touch. You don't really want a sticky dough, but a slightly sticky dough is okay because you can knead in more flour as you go, whereas it's much harder to add liquid. Turn the dough out on to a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. With oiled hands, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes.

Place the ball of dough into a large well-oiled bowl, then flip the dough so all of the surface area of the dough is oiled. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and a hand towel, then set the bowl in a warm (about 80-85 degrees is best) draft-free area and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I find an area around the preheating oven is usually the best warm and snuggly environment for the yeast.)

While the dough is rising make the filling. Place the frozen berries, lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the berries for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the berries have broken down and the liquid will thickly coat the back of the spoon. It may be necessary to assist some of the larger strawberries in the breakdown process by smooshing them with a spoon.

While the berries are simmering away, add the softened cream cheese and 1/8 cup of sugar into a mixing bowl. Cream the mixture together until smooth. Add in the sour cream, egg, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly blended. Set the cream cheese mixture aside. Once the berries are finished, transfer them into a bowl to cool for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, refrigerate the berries until the dough has finished rising, so they have more of a chance to firmly set.

Once the dough has doubled in size, pour it out onto a lightly floured long piece of parchment paper. Lightly flour the top of the dough and a rolling pin (a smooth-edged glass will work in place of a rolling pin in a pinch). Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 18 inches long and 7 or so inches wide. Gently lift all the sides of the rectangle to make sure the dough is not sticking to the parchment paper, this will be important when you go to roll up the cake.

Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the outside of the dough.

Next, evenly spread a thin layer of the berry mixture over the cream cheese layer. You may not need to use the entirety of the berries. Roll the cake up, in a jellyroll-esque fashion, starting by rolling the unfilled border of the dough closest to you over the filling, and carefully begin to roll the dough up into a log. When you have only a few inches left, take the unrolled part and complete the log by gently lifting and pressing the remaining part of the dough up on to the log, so it's seam side-up. Carefully press on the seam to ensure a solid bond.

Very carefully work the two ends of the log together to form an oval, then press the doughy edges together to completely seal the cake into an oval. Slide the parchment paper that the king cake is on, onto a large movable surface, such as a large cutting board or a sheet pan. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper then place the sheet pan, parchment side down, on top of the king cake to form a king cake sandwich.

Trying not to smash the cake, quickly flip the sandwich over and lift off the top cutting board or sheet pan. Gently peel back the parchment paper, and voila!, the king cake is transferred to a parchment-lined sheet pan, seam side down, and ready for its second rise and the oven.

Recover the cake with greased plastic wrap and a hand towel and allow it to rise for another 30 minutes. Bake the cake at 375 degrees in the upper 1/3 of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown. Immediately transfer the cake to a cooling rack after removing it from the oven. This is most easily done by sliding the parchment paper onto the rack directly from the sheet pan. Allow the cake to cool for at least 20 minutes before icing the cake.

Once the cake has cooled for 15 minutes, make the icing. Whisk together the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, melted butter, and milk until smooth. You want the icing to be able to drizzle easily but not just run right off the cake, so if the icing is too thin, just whisk in more sifted powdered sugar and if the icing is too thick whisk in a touch more milk.

After the cake has had a chance to cool, remove the parchment and move the cake to whatever platter you wish to serve it on. Drizzle the icing evenly over the cake and allow it to ooze down the sides. Before the icing has a chance to set, sift on rotating strips of colored sugar. King cake is fantastic eaten warm or at room temperature.


  1. Chef Aimee said...:

    I want to say about 8 years ago I printed out Emeril's King Cake recipe and have YET to make it around this time of year! Maybe next weekend I will push myself and use this one, because it looks fantastic! You did a wonderful job!

  1. Mary said...:

    Congratulations! You made yeast dough! Remember practice makes perfect.

  1. Ingrid said...:

    You go girl! That looks better than the ones I've seen at the grocery store bakery!

  1. Sherry G said...:

    Thanks everyone! I really did love the appearance, especially since I usually can't make very good presentations of my food.=X

  1. grace said...:

    wow. very excellent yeasted creation--you should definitely be proud! if it looks good AND tastes good, you've hit the jackpot. :)

Post a Comment